VIRTUALLY HERS came out Oct. 2009. Get it at SAMHAIN Publishing. VIRTUALLY ONE coming soon.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Uber Spy Is Unloving-able

Heading to Charleston for the Low Country Workshop this Friday, folks! I'll be driving and without my usual roadtrip buddy, sniff*. I'm also going to so miss my little Jiggle Low. He's been a shadow and actually likes to climb on top of me to sleep ;-P. So much so, that he's become an argument between me and the S.O. because well, the bad puppy thinks I'm his and no males are allowed to sleep close by. It amuses me no end.

So poor Jiggle Low is going to be without his momsie for the weekend. Sigh. Only I can get so darn connected to a furbaby.

His Jedness, in one scene, had to be in one country while Hell was working in another. This is the first time he'd ever kept wondering (I call it worrying, but he keeps saying it's wondering) about another operative's safety. It's all about his actions, that Jed, because he uses those big words from that dictionary of his to obsfucate the truth. ;-) He would disagree, of course.

I received an email yesterday which complained that Jed isn't a loving kind of character. I'm not sure how to respond to that. Going to have to sit on this and brood about it. There are many words I'd use to describe His Jedness but "loving" wouldn't be one of them.

The email went on to say that that since the hero is so "unlovingable," (is this word in Jed's dictionary?), then the romance between my heroine and him is also unacceptable. I wanted to pound out a quick reply to say, "Whoa...I haven't even gotten to the romance yet, dear reader!" But I stopped myself.

Part of my dilemma is a pseudo-rule I set for myself about fan/reader mail. Without a specific question, I will not write an explanation or defense of my story or my characters. A reader has the right to his/her opinion, and even the worst criticism is part of the writing for the public process.

For example, remember that hate-mail from that librarian dude who wrote that my book was trash? I know I gave a tongue-in-cheek reply saying that he must have wandered into the wrong aisle, but I also tacked on the suggestion that he returned the book, since he hated it so much. It was only when he replied several times after that to add that I should be ashamed of myself for writing his equivalent of excrement and that in future, I shouldn't write books like VHis anymore, and that if I don't follow his advice, my writing career will be a nothing, that I took offense. Yeah, hate the book, fine, but don't tell me what I can or cannot write.

So this reader feels VHis is a failed romance because Jed is "unlovingable" and doesn't "communicate his love." Then she tacked on, "The hero sucks so better luck next time." Argghhhhhhhhh.

Jiggle Low tells me what he thinks by his actions. The bad boy still lifts his legs and pees to mark his dominance. Unacceptable. Especially when he does it to the pillow on which someone else has slept. Totally unromantic. But he's communicating his feelings to me. There are different ways to communicate love. Just saying.

I need some sexy veges. They always put me in my Zen place.

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SKKD Lambing said...

Don't believe that! According to the dictionary "Loveable" has different meanings 'strong affection or liking of someone, 2. a passionate affection for one of the opposite sex, (old dictionary)3. the object of such affection, woo, imbrace." I think that Jed fits into those definitions, he shows affection to his daughter, and is very protective of her. Maybe those feelings aren't fully developed yet in Jed towards Hell, but I'd say he's getting to be very protective of her, and since their story isn't completed yet who knows if what Jed will feel for Hell? I'd like to think that no one isn't loveable. There's my rant for you. :-)

Anonymous said...

I think Jed is the typical Alpha. Tack on the fact that his past was not sunshine and butterflies and you get the fact that he isn't going to be pepe-la-pew. He has walls and inner blocks to protect himself. Also not to mention that he has had some pretty freaking scary training. That is bound to change a man, but the fact that he is not slobbering over Hell is not a sign that he isn't a loving/lovable character. Hell wouldn't put up with some sappy moronic typical guy. She wouldn't give him the time of day. If you watch the progression of Jed through all of Jenn's novels then you can quite easily see how his personality has warmed and changed with Hell. I guess this "reader" needs to got back and try to pick up some of the subtleties if she has even read the others.


Monique said...

Sarah has got it right. Apparently, this particular reader didn't read the same book I read (and remember this was my intro to the GLow World). He shows how loving he is all the time (ok, ok, it took me three reads to get it all LOL). Point is, Jed's subtle and like Sarah said, Hell doesn't want a sappy poetry and roses kind of guy (actually, neither do I). Jed is too lovable!! And just as importantly, he's believable. I could sooooo go into a Jed rant here. LOL I guess she just totally missed Jed's character. Maybe she was expecting more "romance" but um... super solider spies and poetry? I'm thinking no.

Ahem... no brooding!! :)

vanessa jaye said...

wow. just, wow. Unfreakinbelieveable. And how ruuuude. >:-(

Elaine said...

It's just another case of one man's meat being another man's poison. In my case, Jed's meat is my meat is my meat is my meat...

I find his 'unlovingableness' very sexy, actually. I love these cool-as-a-cucumber type men even as they're boiling over inside. It makes Jed so much more of a challenge, don't you think, Jenn? That's where the sexual tension is. I mean, where is the Tension if the hero is all beta-soft and padding after the heroine like a puppy full of unconditional love?

Gennita said...

LOL. We'll defend Jed with his dictionary! ;-) It's okay for me when the reader doesn't like my character(s) or any elements within the story; it's his/her right. The example email I used (the librarian one) is one I felt crossed the line, when he "advised" me not to write that way again.

Jed can be so pepe-lew-pew too! Just wait!


I should just use your post to answer that email.

No brooding today...not much...cos I'm driving to Charleston, heh. But yeah, my point has always been...assassins are not going to be likeable like regular folks. That said, my brooding is just about how to answer an email without being defensive. Or snide. Sometimes it's difficult, especially when said email ends with, "Better luck next time!" I mean, next book has the same character, doesn't she know?!

Hey girl, you'll be getting your share of email critics too, don't worry ;-). The key is to reply politely. You may grit your teeth while typing it, though, LOL.

Some alphas don't work for readers and that's okay. I enjoy writing different types, exploring the different archetypal nuances. Jed is, obviously, the grayest of them all, in the sense that he doesn't bother to ask you to like him, just take him as he is. A tall demand, but as a writer, it's a challenge to write this character and give him layers so that you can see the many sides of him.

Casee said...

Unlovingable? Huh.

Jed might not be warm and fuzzy, but he's definitely hero material.

Anonymous said...

Go for it. Though it might be a bit harsh....

Tressa said...

Jed reminds me of the uber bad boys in the last few Anne Stuart books, so I absolutely adore his character. I so go for the "bad" ones. Anything else is boring! And he is an assassin. I mean, come on, a sappy assassin . . . who's gonna believe that. Just tell her to stick to her Danielle Steel books.

Sarah said...

Good gravy, if anything I think he feels too much. He is such an intense character and no word is wasted, to me each one deliberate and thought about. He is such an alpha dude and, to be completely honest, one does wonder about the worthiness (a real word) of this opinion and others like it.

Sometimes I think email and the internet is a ridiculously easy way of getting out angst over a pissy day/life or whatever. If you were face to face and in person I don't believe it would not enter your mind to be so ridiculously rude. At least I hope not! Please don't misinterpret my words, I am all for honest feedback and the right to your own opinion, but really, there is nothing wrong with having good manners while you do it!


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